UK company listings are to be reformed to allow a new premium category for companies controlled by sovereign shareholders.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced the change following a consultation. The reform is widely seen as a move to attract the Saudi energy company, Aramco, to list on the London Stock Exchange
However, sovereign companies will be required to hold votes on the appointment of independent directors involving the approval of “independent shareholders”.
The FCA also said there would have to be “timely discoslures on transactions between the sovereign [state] and the issuer [company].”
The company will also need to demonstrate that it is “carrying on an independent business” and that it is in compliance with the UK Corporate Governance Code.
Andrew Bailey, FCA chief executive, said: “These rules mean when a sovereign controlled company lists here, investors can benefit from the protections offered by a premium listing.
“This raises standards. This package recognises that the previous regime did not always work for these companies or their investors. These rules encourage more companies to adopt the UK’s high governance standards.”